Entomologist Joins UF/IFAS to Help Solve Citrus Greening

Kelsey FryAgriculture, Citrus Greening

20160721_163649An entomologist with 10 years of research focused on the state’s iconic citrus industry has joined the faculty of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Indian River Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS IRREC).

Named Entomologist of the Year in 2012 by the Florida Entomological Society, Jawwad A. Qureshi was selected for a new position as assistant professor of entomology at UF/IFAS IRREC, near Fort Pierce, Florida. The UF/IFAS Fort Pierce location is part of the university’s statewide service to agriculture, providing research, extension and education for producers.

“Dr. Qureshi is one of the world’s few entomologists who have expertise in integrated pest management focused specifically on citrus,” said UF/IFAS IRREC interim director Ronald D. Cave. “His work is much needed in the region known worldwide for the highest quality fresh citrus product.”

According to Cave, Qureshi’s expertise with insect pest management for the citrus industry is critically valuable to the state’s citrus industry at a time when huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, has had a negative impact on the crop statewide.

Qureshi was, in 2012, recognized as Entomologist of the Year for his work to develop a sampling method for the Asian citrus psyllid, commonly known as “tap sampling method.” This method has become an invaluable tool for researchers, growers and consultants who require rapid estimation of the Asian citrus psyllid to assist them in making decisions to control the psyllid in groves.
His work on dormant season control of Asian citrus psyllid using sprays of broad-spectrum insecticides in winter provides an effective tactic for integrated management of this pest and is now practiced throughout Florida.

Qureshi previously served as a research associate professor at the UF/IFAS Southwest Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS SWREC) in Immokalee, Florida, since 2006. During his time at UF/IFAS SWREC, organizations such as the Citrus Research Board and the Citrus Research and Development Foundation awarded more than $2.3 million for research to which he either led or contributed.

Prior to joining UF, Qureshi held a post-doctoral research associate position and served as a graduate research and teaching assistant at Kansas State University. For six years, he was a higher scientific officer and team leader, working with biological control and integrated pest management of economically important pests, for the Center for Agriculture and Biosciences, International, a global organization based in the United Kingdom.

In keeping with the UF/IFAS goal to develop management strategies for citrus production, Qureshi’s placement at the UF/IFAS IRREC puts him in the center of the world’s premier fresh fruit citrus production region. “I look forward to working with growers and industry to conducting entomological research for the development of knowledge-based pest management systems which utilize multiple control tactics,” said Qureshi.

Qureshi has authored or co-authored 49 research articles published in national and international scholarly journals such as PLOS ONE, Biological Control, Journal of Economic Entomology and Environmental Entomology. Since 2004, he has been editor for the Arthropod Management Tests for the Entomological Society of America. A sought-after speaker, Qureshi has made 54 presentations before both international and national scientific assemblies.

Qureshi was awarded a doctorate in entomology from Kansas State University. He earned both a master of science and a bachelor of science in entomology at the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

By: Robin Koestoyo, 772-577-7366, koestoyo@ufl.edu

Jawwad A. Qureshi, 772-577-7339, jawwadq@ufl.edu
Ronald Cave, (772) 577-7378, rdcave@ufl.edu